Renowned New Testament scholar makes startling admission.

Hello dear readers. If you know me, you know I am interested in keeping it real and keeping it simple. As simple as possible, that is.

If you, on the other hand, have specific and complex church rituals, I acknowledge that your freedom in Christ could certainly allow for it. And that I should not be too quick to judge others.

However, I cannot help but notice that those who favor a complex liturgical system also seem to favor a priestly figure to execute the rituals. This usually results in a major effect on the church finances. Or even the lack thereof.

Years ago, a famous Virginian wrote these words in a political context. They also have validity in other areas as well:

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct - Thomas Jefferson

Leon Morris is the man in view here. Liturgy or ritual is the subject in view. Morris represents the Anglican church. A "high" church, some would say. He has authored more than 50 books. And was married for 62 years!

From his Commentary on Matthew,  on page 658 he states:

Holy Communion has occupied a large place in the life of the church, and often it has become the vehicle for very elaborate ceremonial. But in origin it was a very simple observance, though a very solemn one, as Matthew makes clear. His account is often said to be "more liturgical" than the others, or we meet with comments like "The original Words of Institution have been somewhat expanded in liturgical use" (Schweizer,p. 490). 

But the fact is that we have no knowledge of any Christian liturgies as early as this writing. There may have been some. Or the first Christians may have preferred to use extempore worship. We simply do not know. That it took worship seriously is clear, but the way it conducted its worship and the forms it used are not. Confident assertions about liturgical forms are out of place.

Matthew tells us that the service we know as Holy Communion began as they were eating, which means that Jesus began it in the context of a meal, not as a separate piece of religious ceremonial. He took bread, not any special bread, but the bread they were using for the meal...

Friends, whether we eat or drink, let us do all things to the glory of God. And let us truly bring every thought captive to HIM.

For the saints of old - they "remembered" God's goodness whenever they beheld the colorful rainbow in the sky - just as He commanded them to. Or the lilies of the field as a reminder of His watchcare. For me, 'as oft as I eat bread or drink the fruit of the vine', I will endeavor to remember my Lord and his death in particular. Just as I am commanded to do.

Whether I am alone or with others, of course. It makes little difference. In the same way that I can pray or sing alone or with others.

Did the Son of God - he who referred to himself as the LIVING BREAD and LIVING WATER - encourage such a comprehensive and symbolic way of life? Here are his words - you may decide.

John 4:13-14  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 6:53   Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 & 56 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Radical implications begin to appear...


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